Author Topic: Sinopoli M4  (Read 6798 times)

Offline akiralx

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Sinopoli M4
« on: April 08, 2008, 09:23:15 AM »

Just got the single CD of this from amazon.jp - I like the performance very much, especially the last two movements: the Ruhevoll movement is more flexible in tempo than usual, and the faster sections have an almost balletic grace. 

The finale with Edita Gruberova is one of the best sung I've heard, alongside Barbara Bonney for Chailly, if not quite as good as Kathleen Battle for Maazel.  She sounds aptly young and sings stylishly but idiomatically.

I'm half thinking of springing for the Sinopoli box, though I've already got the fine M2 (which I always thought was better than Rattle's roughly contemporaneous one), so maybe I'll just pick up the others on single CDs/twofers.

Offline John Kim

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 01:07:13 PM »
I've never heard this M4th but I like some of Sinopoli's other Mahler recordings, M2, M3, M5, M8, M9, and DLVDE. What characterizes these performances is his highly individualistic but often controversial approach - you can call it "a psychologist's approach" that somehow seem to work well for Mahler. Tempos shifts are often exaggerated and Sinopoli tends to drag slow passages, so over repeated hearings they might not wear well on your ears. But it's worth visiting these recordings when you are in the right mood.

John,

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008, 03:26:03 PM »
Gruberova is great. Unfortunately, Hanna Schwartz is awful on the Sinopoli M3. For an M3 that uses the Philharmonia, Zander's is truly much better; particularly in the two outer movements. But note that Profil will soon be issuing a Sinopoli M4 with the Staatskapelle Dresden. I want to hear that.

Polarius T

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008, 03:27:46 PM »
I think what might be a rather more exciting listen still is his live 4th with the Dresden players, freshly out on Profil (e.g. at http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/2682771). The soprano is Juliane Banse which alone would qualify as a recommendation.

For long already I have been a big fan of most of what Sinopoli had time to commit on tape, especially his Bruckner (second only to Abbado at his very best, as in his truly stupendous new Lucerne 4th that I will have to post separately on as soon as time allows), but not really of his Mahler at all, UNTIL NOW that I got my hands on his live 9th with the same forces as above (Dresden/Profile). It is one of the very few 9ths that are well nigh perfect, or appear that way to the silenced listener, in all the key ways and then in some that you can't put your finger on, really.

So I would suggest anyone to check these out who enjoys Sinopoli's Mahler. As far as I'm concerned, there is very little in the Mahlerography out there that comes anywhere near the listening satisfaction that at least the Dresden 9th can offer.

The sound in the 9th was highly enjoyable, big and open and nicely realistic (not so reigned in and damped as in the DG recording). The playing of the orchestra is in every respect much better than that of the PO, and the interpretation, as deeply considered but more thoroughly internalized than in the DG take with PO, glows with a kind of naturalness that the DG 9th can't even begin to approximate in its rather crafted and even mannered-sounding execution.

Polarius

Offline barry guerrero

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2008, 03:30:14 PM »
I agree. I'm normally not a fan of ultra-slow performances of any music, but the Sinopoli/Dresden M9 is now my personal favorite. I don't think I'd make it a first time recommendation to others, but I sure like it.

Barry

Offline akiralx

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 04:28:20 PM »
I think what might be a rather more exciting listen still is his live 4th with the Dresden players, freshly out on Profil (e.g. at http://www.hmv.co.jp/product/detail/2682771). The soprano is Juliane Banse which alone would qualify as a recommendation.

For long already I have been a big fan of most of what Sinopoli had time to commit on tape, especially his Bruckner (second only to Abbado at his very best, as in his truly stupendous new Lucerne 4th that I will have to post separately on as soon as time allows), but not really of his Mahler at all, UNTIL NOW that I got my hands on his live 9th with the same forces as above (Dresden/Profile). It is one of the very few 9ths that are well nigh perfect, or appear that way to the silenced listener, in all the key ways and then in some that you can't put your finger on, really.


Yes I like the Dresden 9 and look forward to the 4, though I disliked J Banse on Boulez's M4.

I picked up the Sinopoli Bruckner 4 in Australia while on holiday and like it a lot, very urgent, almost aggresive at times, but distinctive.  Like Celi on EMI, out of the ordinary.  As for the Sinopoli B8 (now deleted) that is stupendous.  I recall the B9 was slightly dry sonically as recorded live in the Semperoper rather than the fabulous Lukasirche - I culled it for that reason I think but should probably rebuy...

Polarius T

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2008, 12:32:39 PM »
Yes I like the Dresden 9 and look forward to the 4, though I disliked J Banse on Boulez's M4.

I picked up the Sinopoli Bruckner 4 in Australia while on holiday and like it a lot, very urgent, almost aggresive at times, but distinctive.  Like Celi on EMI, out of the ordinary.  As for the Sinopoli B8 (now deleted) that is stupendous.  I recall the B9 was slightly dry sonically as recorded live in the Semperoper rather than the fabulous Lukasirche - I culled it for that reason I think but should probably rebuy...

I can understand why many will feel uncomfortable with Banse: she completely defies the traditional model of an "innocent" light soprano almost automatically expected in M4, for instance. But I find her musical intelligence and ability to so effortlessly shift color (and hence meaning) within even a single syllable an utterly irresistible proposition in a lot of the music she has recorded (good example: her Berg lieder with Abbado, or her Schumann for Hyperion). She is vocally very full and mature and interpretatively a bit too knowing or "artsy" to elicit enchanted reactions in most.

If I now confess that the unsurpassable ideal for me in M4 is Schwarzkopf (with Klemperer), that will tell you I don't really mind such qualities at all.

Someone I'd love to hear doing it: Christine Schaefer.

Glad to see I'm not the only one making fatal mistakes. It hast taken me several years and multiples of the original amounts invested to re-create my complete Sinopoli Bruckner collection. (Note of irritation: The B8 that I got from arkivmusic.com has such lousy graphics works in the booklet & inserts that I could myself do better with the cheap xerox machine I have. How can it be so difficult to do even a respectable job in copying, if quality copies is what you want to become known for! This is like done with your mom's inkjet with the ink running low, and on cheap bulk paper to boot. What a world of difference from the Japanese reproductions that save no effort to go far as even replicating the exact coating material and finish of the original LP sleeves, and all that for a price better than the Arkiv offerings. Now explain that, please.) Sinopoli's B5 and B9 were both recorded at Semperoper, but I can't recall now that having in any way been an issue. On the contrary, his B5 has reference quality to my ears (too long since I heard the B9 to say anything about it right now.)

Another victim of my many years in congested NYC apartments was the Sinopoli M4 with Philharmonia, which I in other words no longer own. Something more still to regret!

But enough ranting already.

Polarius
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 12:38:42 PM by Polarius T »

Offline cilea

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2008, 05:00:44 AM »

Someone I'd love to hear doing it: Christine Schaefer.


She has already done it:

http://sales.codaex.com/rco/catalogus-detail_enNew.php?ID=19

Polarius T

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2008, 12:10:59 PM »

Someone I'd love to hear doing it: Christine Schaefer.


She has already done it:

http://sales.codaex.com/rco/catalogus-detail_enNew.php?ID=19

No kidding; and in big-time settings, too. How did this stay out of my radar? Thanks for the alert. Maybe I'll try and download the single movement only as I don't really want/need new M4s.

Have you heard it? This was actually one of the items on the top of my Ten Best Recordings Never Made list. (Number one there is Viktoria Mullova in the Berg concerto.)

PT

Offline MichaelO

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2008, 01:55:36 PM »
Hi PT:

For what it's worth here is a link to DH's review:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11227

Michael

Polarius T

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2008, 06:05:30 PM »
Hi PT:

For what it's worth here is a link to DH's review:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11227

Michael

Schaefer sings "without quite the purity of timbre the music ideally requires"? Hello?!? Sometimes, when happening upon one of those "2/4" reviews he has kept serializing of recordings with Abbado on which BPO plays simply out-of-this-world beautifully, with an engineering job to match, I have secretly wondered about the sound system DH listens to his music on (unless it's about his hearing, plain and simple). This just revived those doubts. We are talking about Ms. Pure Timbre, after all!

The only other candidates qualifying for that honorific in my book must pretty much be called either Margaret Price, Frederica v Stade, (younger) Ann-Sofie v Otter, or possibly Barbara Bonney... Not that I'd want to hear them in this work, though, apart from Dame Margaret (whose recording of it with Horenstein was an early revelation, even if I so much wish she had had a chance to record it with others, too, and a bit later on).

Polarius T

Offline cilea

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2008, 06:24:58 AM »
The August issue of the Gramophone Magazine has a positive review about the Staatskapelle Dresden/Sinopoli M4:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/gramofilereview.asp?reviewID=0&mediaID=230866&type=edschoice&edsdate=

It also raves about the new Bamberg Symphony/Nott M1:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/gramofilereview.asp?reviewID=0&mediaID=232225&type=edschoice&edsdate=

Offline akiralx

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2008, 09:10:22 AM »
The August issue of the Gramophone Magazine has a positive review about the Staatskapelle Dresden/Sinopoli M4:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/gramofilereview.asp?reviewID=0&mediaID=230866&type=edschoice&edsdate=

It also raves about the new Bamberg Symphony/Nott M1:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/gramofilereview.asp?reviewID=0&mediaID=232225&type=edschoice&edsdate=

I've ordered the Nott after liking but not being blown away by the Zinman SACD.

The Sinopoli Dresden M4 seems to be getting lukewarm reviews elsewhere (for excessive slowness), e.g. Classics Today and International Record Review - which has an amusing anecdote about Sinopoli's pre-performance talk from the rostrum: after hearing him lecture for over 40 minutes an audience member heckled him, along the lines of 'Are you going to get round to playing this blasted symphony or not...'

Polarius T

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2008, 11:18:31 AM »
The Sinopoli Dresden M4 seems to be getting lukewarm reviews elsewhere (for excessive slowness), e.g. Classics Today and International Record Review - which has an amusing anecdote about Sinopoli's pre-performance talk from the rostrum: after hearing him lecture for over 40 minutes an audience member heckled him, along the lines of 'Are you going to get round to playing this blasted symphony or not...'

In this day and age, you still read music reviews? Never trust a critic, is my motto.  ;)

The anecdote is largely correct -- Sinopoli could really get carried away by his enthusiasm for the works he played -- except for the expletive. The same, incidentally, ruined his relationship with the Philharmonia in London (Sinopoli was basically driven away from there) and elevated it to those stratospheres of heavenly love in Dresden: the PO players couldn't stand any of that talk (they just wanted to play during the business hours and go home for the dinner), the Dresdeners were blown away with all the insights and affection this much-missed multitalented intellectual offered.

On the more substantial point, I think there are two musicians who can stretch a piece to heavenly (sorry the repetition but it can also be this) lengths and make it emerge more crystalline for it: Sinopoli and the pianist Anton Batagov (has anyone heard his Messiaen? Or the Art of the Fugue of which he plays every piece at exactly the same dynamics and to the exact same tempo, only slowing them down to, like, half speed. The results: most convincing and nearly hypnotic, and my 6-month old little boy loves it.) (My litmus test for any transcendental quality in music these days.)

PT

« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 11:24:46 AM by Polarius T »

Offline Dave H

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Re: Sinopoli M4
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2008, 05:21:25 PM »
Hi PT:

For what it's worth here is a link to DH's review:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11227

Michael

Schaefer sings "without quite the purity of timbre the music ideally requires"? Hello?!? Sometimes, when happening upon one of those "2/4" reviews he has kept serializing of recordings with Abbado on which BPO plays simply out-of-this-world beautifully, with an engineering job to match, I have secretly wondered about the sound system DH listens to his music on (unless it's about his hearing, plain and simple). This just revived those doubts. We are talking about Ms. Pure Timbre, after all!

The only other candidates qualifying for that honorific in my book must pretty much be called either Margaret Price, Frederica v Stade, (younger) Ann-Sofie v Otter, or possibly Barbara Bonney... Not that I'd want to hear them in this work, though, apart from Dame Margaret (whose recording of it with Horenstein was an early revelation, even if I so much wish she had had a chance to record it with others, too, and a bit later on).

Polarius T

I never mind anyone disagreeing with one of my reviews. Differences of opinion are both inevitable and refreshing. However, the review in question is not a 2/4--it was lukewarm, but the rating for performance was a 7. I take great pains to be accurate in what I say about recordings, as well as in quoting the remarks of others. Music is subjective enough without playing fast and loose with such facts as there are, and few things are more factual than what the published rating really is. As to Schaefer, isn't it possible that "Ms Pure Timbre" simply had an off-night? That is the problem with so many of these live recordings--you take 'em as they come. Incidentally, the generic nature of the above comments leads me to doubt that the writer has even heard the recording in question before commenting, however tangentially, on the review.
Dave H

 

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